Australia’s Sigma Pharmaceuticals has responded to a revised-down takeover bid from Aspen Pharmacare Holding of South Africa by saying it is looking at other options, including the divestment of its generics business.

In May, Aspen bid A$707 million (around $590 million) or A$0.60 per share to buy Sigma, which is Australia’s largest generics player, but has now reduced its offer to A$648 million, or A$0.55 per share. As with the original bid, Apsen will assume A$785 million of Sigma’s net debt but the proposed transaction is subject to a number of conditions, notably an extension of the exclusive due diligence period up to August 2.

In a statement to the Australian Stock Exchange, the Melbourne-based group says it has advised Aspen that it is “willing to continue working with Aspen to assist it to improve the proposal for Sigma shareholders”. However it wants to see the removal of the aforementioned conditions and has rejected an extension of due diligence as well as a clause preventing it from talking to other prospective buyers.

Indeed Sigma says it is considering “the most appropriate business and financial structures to take the group forward, including a number of potential asset sales”. These involve evaluating “expressions of interest” in the company’s operations, notably its generics business.

According to The Australian newspaper, Sigma has 130 approved generics on its books and with 25% market share is the second biggest player in the Australian market behind Alphapharm (which has 30%). The unit is valued at about A$600 million but last year only contributed A$30 million out of A$220 million due to regulatory and other problems.